European Diary

To Call a Rose a Rose

Political correctness is a politically correct name for hypocrisy, but I have long noted that its practitioners share one peculiar characteristic: They don’t know what to call themselves.  Political correctors?  To put it somewhat allusively, theirs is an hypocrisy that dare not speak its name.

Since what seems like time immemorial, homosexuals have described themselves—and have prevailed in their insistence that they be so described by heterosexual others—as gay.  Not as in “their ancient glittering eyes are gay,” but as in “Mom, I’m gay.”  Jews, likewise, have succeeded in making their very name a naughty little taboo, with the odd result that asking if someone is “a Jew” is like asking a highly specific question about digestion at the dinner table, whereas asking whether a person is “Jewish” is perfectly comme il faut, like offering the dinner guest a digestive biscuit.

Similarly, those belonging to the red portion of the political spectrum style themselves as liberals, while those of the violet disposition go by the name of conservatives.  This may not be as accurate as calling a spade a spade, but at least it’s a workmanlike starting point in the ongoing contest of opinion.  Partisans of political correctness, meanwhile, do not call themselves anything.  They are...

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